teddy bear A hunting trip President Roosevelt made into the swamps of Mississippi in 1902 became legendary when he refused to shoot an exhausted black bear, which had been run down by a pack of hounds and roped to a tree. Although the incident was reported in the local press, Clifford K. Berryman, a staff artist for the Washington Post, made it memorable on November 16 with a small front-page cartoon titled "Drawing the Line in Mississippi." Roosevelt is shown holding a rifle, but refusing to shoot the bedraggled bear. The bear, however, received no executive clemency; Roosevelt ordered someone else to put the creature out of its misery. Clifford Berryman elected to keep the bear alive in his cartoons, and it evolved, ever more cuddly, as a companion to Roosevelt, ultimately spawning the Teddy Bear craze.

Teddy "B" Bear
Ideal Novelty Company
Plush, circa 1903
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
Oyster Bay, New York


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